What if you were five or six years old and suddenly found yourself lost in the woods? As it grows darker you become increasingly afraid. Then a mysterious light appears. Would you follow the light, hoping that it would lead you home? Here is a story from West Virginia about a little boy and girl who found themselves in just such a situation. They, too, followed the light, and then found a surprise at the end of the trail.
A young boy and his little sister were hopelessly lost in the woods. It was getting dark and the boy knew that when night fell it would be impossible to find their way out of the thick pine forest. When his little sister began to cry the boy tried to comfort her as best he could. “Come on,” he said softly. “We’ll get home somehow.”
“But we’re lost,” the little girl wailed. “And there are horrible monsters in these woods. Daddy told me so.”
“He was just telling ghost stories,” the boy reassured her. But the boy wasn’t entirely convinced, himself, that monsters and ghosts didn’t roam the woods.
It seemed to the boy that he and his sister had wandered around for hours. Then, suddenly, he saw a light ahead. In the middle of the glow was a blue flame that shimmered with an unearthly light. The boy turned to his sister and said, “See? I told you we’d find our way home. There are the lights of the house.”
The kids began walking toward the light but no matter how far they traveled, the light came no closer. The light, itself, was moving — keeping pace with them. Finally, when they were so tired that they could hardly take another step, they came upon a road. The boy recognized it right away.
“This is the road that leads to our house,” he told his sister. “Come on.”
Then the boy looked around for the light, but it had disappeared. At the same time the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves and the rattle of carriage wheels were heard in the distance — coming closer. It was the children’s father. He was so glad to see them that he jumped from the carriage and hugged them both with joy. Then all three climbed into the carriage for the trip home.
“How did you find your way out of that woods, son?” the father asked. “That woods is so thick that people have been lost in there for days, wandering around in circles.”
“We followed a light,” the boy said.
The father’s eyebrows shot up. “A light?”
“Yes, sir. At first we thought we had accidentally found our house but when we walked toward it, the light seemed to move away. So we just followed the light, hoping that it was another person in the woods carrying a lantern and we would catch up with him.”
The father suddenly fell silent. Then he asked, “What did this light look like?”
The boy told him that it looked like a lantern light. “But it was strange,” he added. “In the middle was a blue flame. I never saw anything like it before.”
“I have,” the father said nervously. “It was the very same light that I just followed almost five miles to find you.”